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52 Tiny Changes Archive

Change is so huge, so big, so time-consuming. It is much easier to keep the status quo.

Does it have to be that way? How about if we change just a little at a time? We are not remaking your whole life at once. If you do one tiny change a week, by the end of the year you will have a better, more vibrant life. Another positive is with small changes, you have a much better chance at keeping your new habits.

For a free list of the 52 tiny changes, send an e-mail to dargis@chartermi.net with 52 changes in the subject line. Or come here each week for a new change and some steps to help you along the way.

Tiny Change #21 Whenever you feel yourself getting tense, slow down and breathe

How many times have you been working on something and getting more and more frustrated? Nothing seems to be flowing. You are getting uptight. But, you keep plowing through. You figure if you just keep going harder at this project, it will work out.

Try an experiment. Next time you start feeling frustrated and tense, stop. Take a few deep breaths. Slow down your mind till you are more relaxed. Try to catch yourself when you first start feeling tense, so you can relax quicker.

Now you can ask yourself some questions.

"How am I feeling right now?"
"What do I need to feel better?"
"What is the present situation?"
"What is good about this situation?"
"What would make this work better?"
"What am I missing?"
"Would it help to collaborate with someone else?"
"Do I have all the information I need?"
"Does this need to be broken down into smaller bites?"
"Will this situation matter in a month?"
"What is the real reason for my frustration? Am I worried someone will find me incompetent or unintelligent?"
"Do I need to change my thinking pattern here?"

You don't need to ask yourself each of these questions every time. Each pause gives you a chance to ask yourself questions that are important to your particular stressor. It is helpful to ask about the present situation and what you can do to improve it. Even if it just changing your mind set. Instead of being annoyed at being stuck in traffic, acknowledge that you can't do anything about it and enjoy a moment of quiet in the car from your hectic day.

We all get these frustrations throughout the day. If we just stop, breathe and think we may find ways to make these moments better. Maybe you will discover you need a break to walk around the block. Maybe you realize you are stuck and need to ask for help. You might decide you need to restructure your time and priorities. Or you find once you relax, that the answer to your problem pops into your head.

To remind yourself to stop, breathe and think, you might want to put a message on your computer desk, on your to do list or your dashboard. You might also want to print out a list of questions to ask yourself when you are under stress, that you can carry with you.

Resources
Managing Stress More questions to ask yourself
Strategies for Managing Stress From the author of running on empty
brelaxed The relationship between stress and breathing

How will you remember to stop and breathe?

 

Don't think you can do this on your own? E-coaching can help you with that.

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Copyright © 2002, 2003 Beth Dargis | Zeeland, MI | All rights reserved.